Category Archives: Creativity

Life Of Two Best Friends CHPT 12

Life Of To Best Friends CHPT 11

CHAPTER 12

“Dude. She did what?” Jerry said standing up from shock.

We were in my room. Jerry had been sitting on the bed next to me. Ken was sitting in my computer chair, and Matthew was laying sprawled out on the floor. As I finished the recap of Jenny events, Matthew sat up, Ken scooted closer, and Jerry was standing next to me. I hadn’t expected this reaction.

“Yeah. She gave me hope and then crushed me; thankfully, before I could become an idiot in front of her,” placing my head in my hands because of the embarrassment spreading across my face.

“No Dude, that is really messed up. She should have given you a sign, or said something after the incident with John. Not continuing to wear your jacket and acting the same as always. I know you like her and all, but that was uncool of her,” Jerry finished as he sat back down and placed a comforting hand on my shoulder.

“Yeah, you shouldn’t waste anymore time on her. She doesn’t deserver anything from you, especially since she friend-zoned you.” Ken said as he spun in my office chair.

I lifted my head, “Thanks guys. I was dreading explaining because I didn’t want the jabs at my stupidity,” I said looking to each of them. Stopping on Matthew who wasn’t saying anything.

He quickly nodded, gesturing towards the guys, that they had already said what he was going to say. “What is your plan now? Are you going to treat her the same; like she is a special treasure to you?” Matthew said.

Laying down on the bed, looking at my blank ceiling, “I don’t know. I’m not going to completely blow her off, but I definitely don’t want to do anything extra like I’ve been. Like now that I know I’m forever in the friend-zoned, I won’t be there for her confessions. I really don’t want to sit through another one.

“You won’t have to worry about that so much,” Jerry interrupted, “in my other classes Jenny has been marked as not dateable.”

Surprised, “What do you mean?” I said jolting back up into a sitting position. Ken had scooted closer; he loves gossip.

Matthew nodded and laid back down and added, “yeah, in my classes too.”

I looked between Jerry and Matthew, “Why didn’t you guys tell me?”

Jerry answered for both of them, “we thought she was your girl; so, we just assumed when they said not dateable it meant she was taken. We were surprised that everyone knew you got her. But don’t worry, we didn’t interject any additional information when people were talking .”

Understanding I nodded, “Thanks guys. I wouldn’t want my humiliation to spread outside of this room. Remember Brit doesn’t know; Jenny at least had the decency to not spread it among her friends.”

“Don’t worry about it too much George,” Ken said getting up from the chair and sitting next to me, “since no one knew about your misunderstanding, no one will be talking about you behind your back.” Ken finished with a jab at my side.

I was still sore from practices, “Dude, ouch! If you don’t want to have me return the favor keep your hands off me.”

Putting his hands up in surrender, “No problem. I apologize,” he finished as he darted back to the safety of the chair.

The knock on the door abruptly brought me back to reality, Dad was opening the door, “Do you guys need a lift home or are you staying the night? The guest bedrooms are still made up if you want to just crash here.”

“No thank you Mr. Matthews,” Ken said getting up and wrapping his arm around Jerry’s neck, “I don’t think I can be in the same room with his one after all that meat he had. His farts will be killer,” Ken said as he quickly noogied Jerry and then swiftly stepped behind my dad. “However, I will be taking you up on the ride though; I think my mom will kill me if I take an Uber home again.”

Jerry looked like he was going to strangle Ken, but Matthew stopped him, “Don’t kill Ken. We need him for the swim meet coming up. You can kill him afterwards,” Matthew said laughing as Ken squirmed a bit.

“Yeah, don’t kill him. Sadly we need the little shrimp; if there was anyone else, Jerry, I would let you go ahead. Dad is on our side, “I wink at Jerry muffling a laugh.

“Sure he is,” Ken stepped out from behind my dad and looked up at him, “are you?”

“I shall not say a word,” Dad said putting his hands up. “Well George, I’ll give your buds rides home. You do your homework and get ready for bed,” He said as he stepped past Ken walked back into the hallway. “Come on you three. Let’s get going,” He called over his shoulder.

“Don’t think too much of what happened. You still have us and we will agree and follow whatever you deem necessary,” Jerry said giving my back a swat.

“Seriously ouch,” I punch Jerry back as he left my room.

“Ouch!” Jerry howled down the hallway.

Matthew was up from the floor, “Yeah, we are always here for you. We wouldn’t make fun of you when it truly matters. Maybe except this one,” he thumbed toward Ken who was still standing by the door. Matthew walked up to Ken, “don’t you dare rat on your bud; death before the swim meet is still an option,” Matthew said half jokingly, half serious. “See ya George,” He said as he left too.

“Don’t listen to Matthew. I’ve got my pal’s back; pal’s before gals,” he said as he stepped to me and clapped me on the back.

He was out the door before I could return the hit. ‘What’s with them and beating me up‘, “If my back hurts more than yours tomorrow I’m paying you all back tenfold,” I yell down the hallway. Only answered with laughter and the front door slamming shut.

I felt relief. The guys knew and they’ve got my back.

Life Of To Best Friends CHPT 11

Life Of Two Best Friends CHPT 10

CHAPTER 11

After the class with Jenny and the girls, the rest of the day went somewhat the same. Every chance I got I attempted to stretch out my sore muscles. I didn’t have Brit’s extra support anymore; so instead, I just limped faster to each class. At least today, all of the teachers wanted to speak their opinions instead of the factual lectures; it might mean more homework, but I was able to rest my eyes throughout the day. In preparation for practice.

Practice. Coach was a smidge nice. He was sitting in his chair, drinking his coffee, as the whole team slowly waddled onto the pool deck. Jerry, Ken, Matthew, and I were all leaning against each other waiting for Coach’s command.

“Begin the stretching warm-up,” Coach said between sips.

Imagine sloth camels trying to do yoga; watching us do the stretches’ probably seemed similar to that. As a co captain, I tried to be the example of perfection, but like Jerry I was stumbling around trying to at least stand up. Don’t even mention balancing.

“Coach we are done. What is warm-up now?” I coughed out, as I wasted all my energy on stretching.

“Are you guys really that dead? You all look like you will topple over if I tap you.” As is to see if it was true, Coach got up from his chair and poked Ken in the side. Sure enough, Ken jumped and fell into the pool. “Right as always.”

We all busted into a crippled laugh, because it hurt too much to do a full belly laugh.

” You all have eight hundred yards freestyle. Mix it up. Enjoy this warm-up because practice will be great,” Coach finished with a smirk.

A smirk. ‘Great.‘ So much for thinking that Coach might be a little merciful. “Begin,” I yelled, just before I jumped into the pool to start.

Coach wasn’t lying. Practice was difficult, but was also good. After the warm-up, Coach had written up the set on the white board. There was lots of pulling and kick sets; not much swimming sets. Believe me, after the last two days, this was the best compromise. I knew Coach wouldn’t give up the chance to push us past our breaking point. Finishing the set, my muscles were burning, but it felt like a strange soothing burn. If you are an athlete you understand me; if not, I don’t know how to explain it more.

“Nice job today, all of you,” Coach said as he scanned the entire pool. “You should all be proud of yourselves. I wanted to push all of you to your breaking point. Then, for good measure, beyond it. I am proud of the workout you gave me. Lanes two through eight, you have a six hundred cooldown; again, slow it down and focus of your breathing.”

Then Coach turned to our lane, “You four will just continue to swim until all the lower lanes are finished. The…big incident that happened a few days ago, is causing me to leave practice early again. Can I count on you four?”

Without hesitation we said, “Yes, you can count on us.

“Good,” Coach said as he walked off towards the exit. The lower lanes saw Coach leave and begun to goof off.

“We are still in practice time. Do as Coach said or I will relay your bad behavior tomorrow,” Jerry said.

I was thankful to Jerry; I was happy to not be the bad cop again. To help Jerry out I left the wall to begin our very long cooldown.

“So George, any more news about your ‘girlfriend‘?” Jerry teased as we were walking to my Jeep. Thursday nights always were spent at my house with the guys; because my dad always wanted barbeque. I also assumed my mom wanted to play hostess; whenever she was home, she would make sure to be home for a Thursday.

“Yeah, tell us all the gross details,” Ken and Matthew said as they pretended to kiss each other.

“Let’s talk when we get to my house,” I said as I threw my bag in the back, maybe a little too hard.

“Oh. Sure dude. No problem,” Jerry answered probably realizing he hit a sore topic.

He would be right. Great, now I have to tell my story of humiliating rejection to the guys. The jokes are going to be unbearable. The car ride seemed to take forever; even though, I drove like something was chasing us. I really didn’t want to attempt this talk in the car. Everyone in the car was silent. Jerry was in the passenger seat and he had pulled out his phone to do the mindless swiping. Ken was in the back with his eyes closed. Matthew was just staring out the window. At least the guys understood and were understanding in this situation.

Finally pulling into the driveway, I paused, “I will tell you guys what happened, but I would like to wait until after dinner. I would rather my mom not know; she would go ballistic or over the top dramatic at me if she found out.”

Matthew grab my shoulders from behind, “No problem Mister Sensitive; we will follow your lead.”

Sighing in annoyance, I got out. They all followed pursuit. They would rather not be the first one to enter the house first and find my mom waiting. She usually gives kisses on the cheek to the first one through the door. Jerry and Ken have both experienced this; their faces afterwards were priceless. I begin to open the door, just as Jerry shoves Matthew in front of me, right into my mom’s embrace. Sucker. Mom gives him a huge smooch on his left cheek; ending with a tight squeeze hug.

Instinctively we all chuckle silently to ourselves; the chuckles quickly die down as we watch Matthew shaking in annoyance. “Mom, I’m right here,” I say as I step beside her; trying to save my friendship with Matthew.

Mom suddenly lets go of Matthew and looks at me, and then back at him, “I should have known; Matthew is quite taller than you.” She says as she tilts her head all the back to look up into Matthew’s face. “Sorry my dear,” she says as she steps away from Matthew.

“No problem Mrs. Matthews. Thank you for commenting on your son’s current height situation; it has always been a deep topic for us to discuss with him,” Matthew said all annoyance gone an smiling once again.

“Whatever, lets go find Dad and eat! I’m starving,” switching topics as I walk towards the kitchen area. Why must they always jab at my height.

As always the guys follow my lead, setting their bags down in the entry hall, and following me to the kitchen.

Dad is grilling up some delicious smelling meat, “I made lots today thinking you would want extra for the all the pain you all are in.”

“Great idea Mr. Matthews.. Don’t expect there to be any leftovers,” Jerry says as he pulls up a chair. We all dig in!

Life Of Two Best Friends CHPT 10

Life Of Two Best Friends CHPT 9

CHAPTER 10

My muscles burn. You know that feeling when you’ve done a great workout, and you know you are going to be hurting tomorrow; well that is me today. I try to sit up in bed and my limbs scream at me. Coach finally killed me; however, I still have to go to school today. So I pry myself out from under my comforter and swing my dead legs over the side. Ouch. The cold ground burns my feet and I try to stand. Yep. Nope. I fall backwards and land on my bed. Thankfully my head did not collide with the wall behind me. Well this sucks; I should have stretched more after my shower. Hopefully my last resort is home, “Hey Dad. Can you come help me?”

I just hear panicked feet scurying around and then suddenly my door bursts open. My dad looks frightened; crumbs from his breakfast still linger in his mustache. He walks over to me, “What’s wrong son?”

“I hurt. Can you help me stand,” I say knowing he probably thinks I’m joking.

Dad sighs and then laughs as reaches down and grabs my arm. He sits next to me, drapes my arm over his shoulders, and pulls me up into a standing position. “Your Coach is doing his job I see, and I like it!”

I laugh, “Thanks Dad.” Still standing with my Dad’a support I feel my stance becomeing stronger, as I slowly take all of my weight. “Thanks Dad. I should be good now,” I say trying to untangle myself from him.

He gives me back my arm, but he still is beside me. He keeps an arm hovering around my waist incase I decide to fall again.

“Don’t worry about it. Father’s are supposed to be there no matter what. Even if it’s to help their sixteen year old son to stand in his young years. Just think in the future there will be a day I yell for you to come help me get up from bed,” He finishes while doing a deep belly laugh.

I can’t imagine my dad old. For sure and no doubt, I will be taking care of him in his older years. I’m finally feeling good. I swat my Dad’s hovering arm away and take some small steps around my room. Painful but doable. “Thanks, I’m good now.”

“No problem Son. Call me if you need me to help you with the stairs; we could look into one of those machnical chairs if you want,” he chuckled basically calling me an old grandpa.

Hopefully Coach gives us a break today, because I don’t know if I will survive, or even before. I did not need my Dad’s help at the stairs; I grab my breakfast and lunch money. Again picking up Matthew up today. This time, I wasn’t about to share what happened yesterday.

“Hey Matthew, how are you feeling today,” I call out to him as he lilmps to the car. It seemed like one hundred years had passed before he climbed into the passenger seat.

Glares. Just glares. “Hopefully you are feeling worse than I am. If not I might help you,” he said as he was about to punch my legs.

Reacting quickly but regretting my sudden movement, “Don’t worry about that. Coach held me back after you all left and I did about fifteen hundred more yards.”

“Good. You deserve to be dying,” content with my misery, he settled back into the seat.

We just drove silently to school; probably we were both gathering up our energy. We parked in our normal spot, and we pretty much fell out of the car; the first time I hated my jeep’s height. People were staring at us like we were weird. I wish non swimmers would understand, but unless they want to try a day in the life of a swimmer they never will. About ten minutes later we reach where both Ken and Jerry were laying plastered to the lunch table. They are so still they actually look dead. No pranks or jokes today. Matthew and I walk up to them and said a collective, “Hey.”

Jerry’s head lifts slowly and then Ken follows his action. They have the same expression that Matthew had earlier, just glares.

“Don’t worry Coach killed him after we left. He is probably hurting more than us,” Matthew said relishing in my pain.

“Good,” Ken and Jerry said together.

“Yeah, I had to have my Dad help me out of bed today,” knowing that the jokes woould be brutal, but that they would liven up after my
statement. As if instantly, we all busted out in laughter. Only to quickly regret it because our cores were now in stabbing pain.

The first bell chimed. Matthew and I helpled Jerry and Ken up and we stumbled our way to our homeroom. Excited to sit in our chairs, but dreading having to stand again afterwards.

Homeroom was the same. However, Mrs Chaplen kept looking at us four with a quizzical look. She asked Ken to come up front and write something for her. She cancelled that request after she witnessed Ken trying to get himself up from his seat for about a full minute.

The bell rang and Mrs Chaplen came towards us, “Are you four okay?”

We collectively said ‘yes, and not to worry. Just swimming stuff.‘ She seemed okay with our response and she let us leave. We four walked out of the classroom into Jenny and her girls. Not caring about how we are percieved we just stood there trying to hold up our own weight.

“Hey George,” Jenny said like always.

“You guys okay?” Brit said instantly. “You look like zombies,” she ended with a laugh.

We would have laughed but it is just too painful. I answered for the group, “No. Coach just killed us yesterday and the aftermath is what you are seeing now.”

“Seems like your coach is one tough cookie. I’m happy I didn’t join the team when I had thought about it,” Brit continued.

“Well we have to head out,” Ken and Jerry said slowly walking away, “we don’t now how long it’s going to take us to get to class.” We watched as they limped away to their class. Matthew was the next to leave. He didn’t look as hurt as earlier but he wasn’t walking at his normal pace.

“Yeah we should head over too. And don’t worry about me I’ll be there eventually if you all want to go ahead.”

“Don’t worry about it. Our teacher likes me. I’ll stick with you and she won’t mark you tardy if I’m with you. If anything just walk more like a zombie and I’ll claim I helping a hurt person,” Brit said as she stepped to my right; swinging my arm over her shoulder attempting to give me extra support.

Brit was great that way; helping without any expections or reward. Noticing that Jenny wasn’t speaking. I looked at her and she gave me a smile, “I’m coming,” Jenny said as she took position on my left. No surprise that Chelsea and Addison rushed on ahead.

We just slowly worked our way to the classroom. The second bell had gone off, and time was ticking by, “Jenny, just go on ahead and get to class. Brit will stay with me and hopefully her magic of being teacher’s pet will help me out. If anything you can let the teacher know the situation if it takes longer.”

At first I thought she didn’t hear me. But she nodded and walked on to the classroom. We were probably about ten feet from the door as the third bell chimed and the teacher was walking in the classroom. Brit left my side and waved our teacher down. As Brit said, she convinced the teacher to let my lateness slide.

We got to our seats and I plopped into mine. I turned to Brit, “Thanks Brit. My dreams of the Montana school would have been shattered if not for you.”

“No problem George. But hush the teacher is starting,” Brit finished as she turned back to the teacher.

Good’o Brit maintaining her teacher’s pet title.

Life Of Two Best Friends CHPT 9

Life Of Two Best Friends CHPT 8

CHAPTER 9

Her hug awakened my senses; they were dead a moment ago. She was still shaking softly; not really crying anymore, but she was still sniffling. I hugged her back. Stepping up to the plate, I patted her on the back and stroked her hair trying to calm her. She stiffened suddenly to the touch, but then slowly relaxed again in my embraced. ‘Good. I didn’t just screw this up.‘ “Jenny, I need you to talk to me.”

She sighed and pulled back looking me in the eyes, “Okay, but can we get in,” gesturing to the jeep, “I’m freezing.”

“Sure.” I pulled away from her and unlocked the jeep. She ran around to the passenger door and clambers inside. ‘That was cute. Focus George.’ I open the back door, throw my bag in, and then climb into the driver seat. I turn the jeep on and turn the heat all the way up; because, even though we were in the car she still looked cold. “Don’t worry about the heat, Coach killed me today and the heat feels good.”

“Sweet, not about the dying,” she said with a soft giggle, “but don’t mind if I do.” She put her arms up to the vents, letting the heat travel down the long sleeves of my sweat shirt. Her body began to relax. She must have soaked up enough warmth because she leaned back in the seat. A sad look slowly creeping back onto her face.

“Do I need to get you home?” Why do I keep saying things that makes it seem like I want her gone. ‘Idiot!

“No. I told my mom I was with you, and that you would bring me home. She said to take our time. She understood that I might need to vent to someone who was there,” Jenny said, and as she spoke her emotions ranged from frantic, to anger, and ending on sadness.

“Okay. So vent if you want, but can we go get some food. I’m on empty,” as I talked I texted my dad letting him know the situation. I got a reply.

‘Thanks for the heads up. Give my girl a hug from me. I’ll let your mother know. Don’t be out too late, but I understand.’ Dad totally understood me.

“Totally, and I might have you buy me something too,” Jenny answered.

“No problem,” I say as we take off to the Wendy’s near by.

We just decided to eat in the car; then we could talk after we finished. I turned to look at her. There was warmth in her cheeks again and a smile on her face. This is the Jenny I love. I think she could feel my stare because she stilled and side glanced me.

“What?” She said caught a little off guard.

“Nothing. Just watching my…ah… Jenny become Jenny again.” That was close I almost said ‘my girl‘. That would have been awkward.

She just smiled in reply and continued to eat her frosty.

“Jenny…”

She sighed and turned to me. There was something new in her eyes; it seemed like guilt or an apology. “George…I…”

So I’ve got my answer. Her ‘okay‘ was just to stop John from continuing. Thankfully she cut me off right now, and not after I spilled my heart out. This, I think, is the best kind of rejection; where it’s not said but both people know. “Don’t worry about it. Let’s just move on,” I don’t know if I really believed my words but why add to the hurt.

“George, I’m sorry. I just don’t understand…” She said as she fumbled over the words.

“No problem. But really let’s just drop it. What did you want to vent to me about?” Switching topics, to end this conversation as quickly and as smoothly as possible; I was a little annoyed, but I tried to keep my cool.

“Oh. Okay. I just wanted to say thanks for helping me avoid John today. The girls know about what happen, well most of it,” she said implying she didn’t tell them about my confession.

Good. I don’t need any more embarrassment.’ I let her continue.

“Brit is understanding. She has decided to stick around me. But now with the stupid rumors I don’t know if I’m going to stay at this school,” she said hesitantly.

That last part brought me back from my wandering mind. ‘She might leave.’ Yeah I was rejected but I wasn’t going to stop being her friend. ‘She might leave.’

She continued, “I don’t know what my plans are. My mom said I could always go and study at a school in Belgium; we have family there. It sounds amazing, but I don’t know that would be running away. Or maybe I should just face it.”

I didn’t really know how I was feeling with this news. I always just assumed Jenny would be here. I am also planning on leaving; so, it shouldn’t be to strange that she wants to move on with her life too. I strangely don’t have that need to stop her anymore. That is, if she is just running away sure I’ll say something, but I’m not sad or mad about her leaving. Probably the rejection is already making its way to my brain, not just my heart.

“It’s your decision. However, I will say, if your are leaving just to run; that is never a good idea. First stop and think, about whether its something you really want to do or not,” I say giving my two cents. “If you start running you, will always be running.”

“True George. Thanks. That’s why I like talking to you. You always make me think twice,” she said smiling in my direction.

That melting smile is now is a painful smile, and eventually that smile will just be a plain smile. I didn’t know rejection would feel like this; again nothing like the movies. “Well, let’s get you home. I’m exhausted and I still need to do my mountain of homework.”

“Oh. Sure. No problem,” Jenny said a little surprised.

We drove in silence until I pulled up her driveway. She hopped out and came to my window, “Thanks for the talk and the ride. See you tomorrow,” she said as she was waving goodbye, and then she was stepping in her front door.

“See ya, Jenny,” those words burned as they came out of my mouth because I knew that tomorrow would be different.

Life Of Two Best Friends CHPT 8

Life Of Two Best Friends CHPT 7

CHAPTER 8

I wanted to talk to Jenny after classes but my day kind of snowballed. Classes were non stop; the teachers seemed to actually want to teach today. Don’t get me wrong, I know not all teachers are the same; however, the teachers at our school seem to be over trying to get through to some of us.

Anyways, at lunch I thought maybe I would find her, but she was at counseling; I guess she decided she needed it or Mrs. Bailey insisted. Which of course caused the whispering to begin. The rumors started out as Jenny was confessed to and she beat the guy up. Turned to Jenny was confessed to, and I out of jealously fought the guy. Then it completely changed into John was beating me to a pulp and Jenny came to save me. I went from not being there, to jealous, to a wimp. Yeah, I really do hate high school rumors, but the rumors were not going to lessen Jenny’s emotions. Before I could maybe help her, it was practice time and I had to stay away.

Practice was normal. Coach discovered I used the pass and he told everyone of my wonderful decision. They were all dying from yesterday, and now they had to do more because of me. Thanks Coach. Not like today should be any easier.

As I said practice was normal. We swam. We died. We swam. We died. Repeat as many times as you think is enough, and then times by a hundred and you got us. However, my mind wasn’t in the pool, it was on Jenny and how her day went. I can imagine not well. I’ll try and find her after practice if possible.

“Okay everyone that’s it. I saw the practice you did yesterday; I don’t want to completely kill you, and besides you will be feeing it tomorrow,” Coach said with that satisfied smirk. “I liked the set though, you can expect to do it in the future,” Coach said gleefully.

Great. Thanks Coach.’ I think to myself as I look around at the exhausted glares.

“Get out of here,” Coach says and everyone pulls themselves out of the pool. As I climb out, “George, come here a minute.”

What else is new. Coach probably wants to critic my running ability or take away all the prideful words he said this morning.

“Where is your head at? I know is not here. Mental is a huge part of swimming. You just swam like a struggling dog,” Coach suddenly switched to his frustrated, pissed tone.

“Sorry Coach. I’ll be better tomorrow,” I said half believing myself.

“Nope. I’ve already let your parents know,” Coach said as he finishes a text and slips his phone away. “You will be staying late. You will do a new set, and you will continue until I believe you are giving it your all. Giving me a pathetic workout does nothing for you or me. I need one hundred percent effort. Let’s go.”

Pointless to argue, I jump into the pool to begin my stupid punishment for being a high school teenager athlete.

This is my first time where I want to hit or push Coach into the pool. Coach stopped me and made me start over about three or four times, before I finished the first half. He kept saying I was distracted and I needed to give it my all. I understood what he wants me to do but I’m a teenager guy who is worried about his girl…or maybe girl. I started the second part, and Coach threatened to make me start all over. So I did what he wanted; I became a swimming robot. My mind was all about the
water. Done. I must admit it was probably the best workout I had done all season, but I wasn’t about to tell Captain Cranky Pants Coach that.

“That was better. Good hustle George,” Coach said as he sipped his coffee. “I’m tough on you because I want you to succeed. I want you to be the best you can be. Now, I want this George,” he said gesturing to exhausted me, “to be at practice from now on. Got that?”

‘Yes Coach,” I answered barely breathing.

“Good. Now go change and go home. See you tomorrow,” Coach said as he left the deck.

In so much pain, I made it to the locker room. It was quiet. I showered enough to be clean and then I changed. I grabbed my belongings and headed out. I probably looked like a zombie as I headed to my car; I defiantly felt half dead. It was already dark outside, but I still saw her. There stood Jenny leaning against my car door. She was
alone, which seemed dangerous to me; she looked lifeless again.

“Jenny?” I said weakly since I was in lots of pain.

Her head slowly turned to me. She was crying and whimpering to herself.

I walked up to her, “I sorry to ask you this again, but are you okay?”

“No. I’m not okay,” She said as she stepped forward and hugged me. “But with you I’m better.”

Life Of Two Best Friends CHPT 7

Life Of Two Best Friends CHPT 6

CHAPTER 7

My hand hits the door frame just as the bell chimes. Panting and gasping for air, I plop down into my seat. The guys, of course, look at me like I’m nuts?

“Mister Matthews,” Mrs. Chaplen says as she comes into the room. “I do believe this will be your first tardy.”

“Please let this slide,” I plead not wanting my teammates to hate me two days in a row.

“Can you give me a concrete answer that would make you deserving of my mercy?” Mrs. Chaplen said knowing that she had won.

“I would rather my teammates not hate my guts. I do have a pass, but if I use it I will be hated by them,” I can feel the guys’ stares.

“That is not a legit reason for me to be merciful. Will you be using the pass or will you be marked tardy?” Mrs. Chaplen said flatly.

I knew it was a long shot. Mrs. Chaplen is a no nonsense type of teacher. I could have used my Dad as an excuse; she is a huge fan. Why lie and be on her bad side. “I will be using the pass,” I say as I get up and hand over the only thing keeping me as a likeable captain. I go back to my seat, “Sorry guys, but just wait for death at practice today.” They finally understood; I got death looks. If these guys are hating me, yep, my teammates are going to be way worse.

Now was the time I would see Jenny again; I wonder if things would be different. The guys decided to wait around for a bell to see Jenny and mine’s exchange. They wanted to see if I truly did what I claimed.

“Hey George,” Jenny said quieter than normal.

She was in dark jeans, a white t-shirt, and my sweatshirt. Yesterday was crazy, but I’m now seeing her in my clothes. I like it; she looks good as always. It seems like she has more make-up on; probably to cover up the redness from crying. She was still Jenny. However, she seemed a little more closed off; like a protective layer was around her. Chelsea and Addison were not around just Brit. Brit was also on edge; she kept looking around and her guard was up too.

“Hey Jenny,” I said not knowing what else to say. Remembering the guys were still around, I turned to them, “You guys should head out. Don’t be tardy like I was.”

They were stunned, probably because they knew it was my jacket. Realizing that some of what I had said is becoming true.

“Yeah, let’s head out. See ya Jenny, Brit,” Ken said, while Jerry and Matthew nodded in agreement. They were off.

“Let’s go to class. I don’t have a pass anymore and with the consequences it takes, I don’t know if I ever want one again,” I rambled just trying to fill the awkwardness. I start forward, but stop realizing Jenny and Brit had not moved; turning, there stood John. The nerve of that guy. Once again, I was in front of Jenny with Britney next to her. “Dude, don’t you remember yesterday. Stay out of her and my sight for life,” trying so hard to stay composed.

“I want to talk to her,” John said ignoring me. “Without you two around. Leave.”

Yeah, like that was going to happen. “Let’s go to class. I say taking Jenny’s hand and hoping Britney follows. She did, of course, but she was cautious moving towards the jerk.

John stepped in front of me, “Again, this is not your business. I am talking to her whether you let me or not.”

Wow. I knew there were moronic jerks in the world but I was naïve to believe our school was different. “Nope.” I said not really caring to listen to his stupidity any more. Realizing I was still holding Jenny’s hand, I stepped around John towing Jenny with me. Britney was close behind. John was starting to twitch; probably anger, but whatever. The guy seems to always be pissed off at something. Thankfully he stayed where he was. While we walked to our class the second bell rang. Finally reaching our class I remember, and let go of Jenny’s hand. My hand is burning. I don’t really wait; I just usher them into the class room and we take our seats as the last bell chimes. I need to start getting to class earlier.

I turn and look at Jenny. Any ounce of life she had in her was gone. She looked hollow and lifeless. My hand itched to grab her hand and give her a squeeze of encouragement. I stopped knowing we haven’t talked and that we are currently in public. I didn’t want rumors to spread. Especially after what happened yesterday. Instead I write a note and place it in front of her. She opens it and giggles. Good she is still with us. She turns to me and smiles; the melting George smile kind. She turns back to the teacher to listen to the lecture; I’m just thankful she has a glow about her again.

Life Of Two Best Friends CHPT 6

Life Of Two Best Friends Chpt 5

CHAPTER 6

Let me tell you. It is not like the movies. After you act like a hero you still have to do things. Like homework, and your normal night routine. Its not like they say ‘cut‘ and move on to the next scene. Also, the bruises on my face and knuckles are not make-up. It is killing me; but I’ll wear my battle scars with pride. Well goodnight, I’m exhausted.

Heading downstairs to hopefully a quiet house, I’m ready for this new day. Maybe another grab and dash day…No such luck. Mom and Dad are siting at the buffet drinking their coffee. I’ll take this chance to describe my parents to you. My mom, you’ve met her. Her personality is as it was yesterday, dramatic; she cares in her strange way. She is about five foot four; however, she is always wearing three to four inch heels. She has blonde hair, rosy tanned skin, and dark brown eyes. My dad says she
has a bubbly but strict personality; I’ve never seen her bubbly side. She does the ‘my way or the highway’ attitude the best.

On the other hand, my dad is very laid back. Not about his music though, he is passionate about it; similar to me and my swimming. He has dark brown hair, a short beard mustache combo, and green eyes. Since he is
usually the one home, we have a great relationship. Think less like a friendship, and a bit more like a father and son.

“Hey Mom, Dad,” I say getting my quick breakfast and lunch together.

“Well done my boy. You have made the Matthew’s name proud,” Dad said as he came to hug me. “I’m so proud of you for taking care of Jennifer. I would have probably punched the other kid into outer space.”

“Thanks Dad,” I said accepting the hug.

“You need to be more careful. What if this tarnishes your father’s reputation or puts a demerit on your school file. I think you should stay away from Jennifer for the time being, and focus on your future.”

Yep that’s my mother. Always thinking about only us and casting others aside. “Mom…” I start, but my Dad cuts me off.

“Christine, he did nothing wrong. He was in the right. I will back him up a hundred and ten percent. If anything this might make me more popular. ‘Artist son defends family friend against crazed classmate,’ has a pretty nice ring to it,” Dad said ending it with a wink at me.

I knew he was joking. He loves Jennifer, and would never do that to her.

“True. That would help your career,” Mom said pondering it to herself.

“However, if that type of statement comes out, I will sue the piss out of them for slandering the innocent girl,” Dad said staring down Mom.

That was my cue to leave. Dad is pissed at my mom for even pondering the notion of using Jennifer for helping his career. “See ya Mom and Dad. I’ve got to go see Coach first thing,” I left without waiting for their response.

I picked up Matthew. His parents were not back from their trip. “What’s up dude?”

“Nothing. How was your night?” Matthew replied.

“You guys missed everything,” I told him everthing that happened.

“Yeah, right. Sure you confessed and she said okay. There is no way you had the guts to do that,” he said with disbelief all over his face.

“It’s true,” I insisted, but of course that’s what he focused on.

“Let’s wait and see what the other guy’s reactions are,” Matthew’s said knowing the other guys would say the same thing.

“Yeah, there is no way you did that,” Jerry said after I finished. “I’m sorry dude, but outside of the pool you are kind of a wimp, no offence,” Jerry finished with a punch.

“All I do believe is that you punched the guy and you got hit back. Note the bruise on your hand and face,” Ken added.

“Whatever guys. You don’t have to believe me. But I’ve got to go and see Coach; I’ve got to go give the keys back,” I said not wanting to hear any more of their jabs.

“Okay mister sensitive. We’ll catch you later,” Matthew said as they headed off.

I got to the gym and Coach was leaning against the glass door patiently. Coach is a tall, built man. He exudes toughness. He was wearing his normal attire: white hat, polo shirt, and kaki shorts. His head jumped up when he heard someone approaching; realizing it was me his body relaxed. “George.”

“Hey Coach,” I said as I handed him his keys. “Everyone did the workout. We were running out of time and they all decided to finish instead of quitting.”

“Good. That is good. I’m happy to know that I choose the right person to be my captain,” Coach said proudly, patting me on the shoulder. “I was, however, informed by the altercation that happened yesterday. I am glad you stood up for her, but next time don’t swing first. Note, I’m speaking from the school faculty stand point. This won’t be on your permanent record because Steven’s was in the wrong, but next time you will probably be marked up. The Montana school will not invite you if you have any demerits,” Coach finished trying to get the point across to me.

Loud and clear, “Understood Coach. Montana school is still my goal. I won’t do anything to ruin my chances,” I say knowing that I would still protect her, but maybe next time I’ll just shield her and myself and take the beating.

“Now, I will quickly step out of my faculty role,” Coach said as he removed his hat. Now knowing why he always wears the hat, his hair was untamable. “I am proud of you. As a coach, I don’t just want to mold outstanding athletes but I want you all to be outstanding human beings as well.”

Wow. When Coach wanted to he could make you feel ten feet tall. I was swelled up with so much pride that I’m sure my face was all smug with confidence.

Putting his hat back on, “Still, remember my words. The Montana school will be the best thing for you. I do hope I can hand you over to them at the end of this year.”

“I will not let you down Coach. But could I get that pass? I’m probably going to be late to homeroom,” looking at my watch realizing I have about five minutes until the last bell.

“You may have it, but I do believe you could make it without. If you use it will be an extra thousand yards today at practice for everyone. If you do not use it I will drop five hundred yards off everyone’s practice. It’s your decision,” Coach said as he handed me the pass, unlocked the door, and left.

“Coach loves to make my teammates hate me,” I say as I bust my butt to homeroom.

Life Of Two Best Friends Chpt 5

Life Of Two Best Friends Chpt 4

CHAPTER 5

Ok guys, yeah I’m talking to you. What just happened to me? I almost forgot about Jenny. I get there and I go all beast mode on the guy. I confess. Then I’m accepted…? I wish I could pick your brain to understand what’s going on in this girl’s brain.

Jenny still had her hand on my arm. At least she was no longer shaking, and her breaths were getting more even. Hopefully she couldn’t feel my heartbeat through my skin, because it was racing. The adrenaline high was still there. The guy, I now know the jerks name…John Stevens, was getting an earful from the principal. We watched as we were sitting across the hallway. John was sitting head down, arms drooped, and his skin was red. Embarrassment or anger, it was too hard to tell. I peeled off my jacket and put it around her shoulders. She probably wouldn’t want her mom to see the purpling bruise on her shoulder.

I tensed. Jenny rested her head on my shoulder. I could feel my skin burning, where her head was. She wasn’t speaking, and I had no idea how to start the conversation, ‘what does okay mean?’ and I didn’t really want to start; especially as my mother and Mrs. Bailey came running up to us. Jenny jolted up.

“Honey are you okay?” my mom said as she pulled me up from the bench.

It was weird, her being all caring. It seemed out of place.

“Honey you are not answering me…” she kept dramatically pleading with me.

“I’m fine mom,” I answered to stop the begging.

“My little sweet pea, are you okay?” Mrs. Bailey said as she sat down next to her daughter.

Jenny lost it, and melted into her mom’s arms, and started sobbing into her mom’s chest. “Mom…” is all Jenny could get out through the sobs.

“I’m going to ring his neck,” Mrs. Bailey said as her gaze looked at John’s back.

John must have felt the glare, because through the yelling he turned to look back. Quickly regretting it, after seeing the face of one angered mom; he swiftly returned to his starting position of being yelled at. He probably thought it was safer in there.

My mom still trying to get me to talk to her. She was being overly dramatic. All I wanted to do was make sure Jenny was alright. Jenny’s sobbing had turned into soft whimpers as Mrs. Bailey hugged her and patted her head. “Jenny, you okay?”

Jenny stopped. She unfolded herself from her mom’s embrace, wiped her tear stained cheeks and runny nose, stood up and faced me directly, “Thanks to you, I am fine.” Then she stepped forward and hugged me.

I stiffened at first, and then relaxed and gave her a hug back. She whispered quietly into my shoulder, ‘thank you’. I hugged her a
little tighter. Suddenly that sweet moment turned into a painful squeeze. I looked over Jenny’s head and I saw the top of Mrs. Bailey’s head. She was squeezing both of us.

“Thank you so much George!!” she said with a high pitch squeal. “I owe you so much!”

It was uncomfortable for a quick second, but how could I be mad at Mrs. Bailey. That hug seemed to be full of care. I didn’t question her. “You are most welcome Mrs. Bailey.” She did a mom giggle, gave another quick squeeze and then let us go. Jenny had been silent the entire time, but I felt her body heat up. This time due to embarrassment. I slowly let go of Jenny; not wanting to, but thought the parents would find it odd if I continued to hold her. Jenny looked once more into my eyes, saying ‘thank you’ and then she stepped back to her mom.

I had no idea what my mom was thinking. She had a look of disgust or confusion. It’s hard to tell with her. Thankfully the principal’s door opened suddenly, successfully avoiding the mom situation. As John was exiting the office an older couple was coming up the hall. His face went from red to pale white. The older couple must have been his parents. The mom looked like she was going to blow a gasket; while the dad had that look of, ‘just wait until we are home.’ I know that look. For a
split second I felt sorry for him, but that split second was gone when I felt Jenny behind me again.

John looked like he was going to say something but he decided against it. The principal told John to sit in the chairs next to the office window and wait. I don’t know the principal’s actual name. This is my first time here.

The principal looked at me and said, “Mr. Matthews and Miss Bailey please stay on that side of the hallway and wait. I need to discuss matters with all parents present.”

“Of course you do,” dramatically my mom said; probably she wanted back into the conversation.

“Alright, Sir,” I say as I bring Jenny back to the seats and sit her down next to me.

The principal nodded in approval, and he ushered the parents into his office. John’s dad gave him the look of ‘shut up and sit still’, then he entered the office.

It was silent. I focused on my self control and Jenny’s movements. John sat with his head down but his legs were fidgeting. It seemed like hours
went by until John lifted his head. He looked at me. Then Jenny. However, his gaze quickly jolted back and rested on my face.

“What are…,” John started to say but decided against it. He looked back at Jenny.

I felt her body tense next to me. I gave her a side glance. She was silent and still, but her face showed hurt. She didn’t look him in the eye; instead, she turned her eyes to mine. They seemed to say, ‘please help me.’ I gave her a small nod.

I turned my gaze back to John, “Can’t you tell your making her uncomfortable? Stop staring.” I was okay with John hating my guts, if it made Jenny feel more at ease.

He switched his gaze to me, “Fine.”

Jenny relaxed again. I looked towards the office. John’s parents were sitting in the office sullen; anger was still somewhat there, but it was probably regarding their idiot son. Mrs. Bailey was sitting apart from them talking calm but still seemed firm. On the other hand, my mother was flailing her arms about like she was trying to swat flies. I couldn’t hear her but I could assume she was being overly dramatic and blowing it way out of proportion. I wish my dad had been the one
sent here. He was probably working on an album, or he would have been. The Principal was just sitting at his desk trying to listen to all four people; he looked frazzled. I was sure my mom was not helping.

“Jenny…I…” John started to say.

My gaze jumped back to John. He seemed to look apologetic. I looked at Jenny, but she was already looking away from me, down the hall; her body stiffen only slightly.

“I’m sorry. I was an idiot. I needed the punch in the face; it knocked some sense back into my thick scull. I…” John rambled.

I was still watchhing the back of Jenny. She was gently shaking. I again couldn’t tell what was happening, was it tears or was it anger? I reached over and squeezed her
hand, “You okay?”

With her face still turned she squeezed my hand back and softly whispered only to me, “I’m fine, but I won’t forgive him.”

“She doesn’t want to talk. You’ve hurt her enough. Just let her be,” I said directly looking into John’s eyes; hoping he would get the message and stop.

“I’m not talking to you. It’s none of your business!” John hissed.

“Since I’m over here with her, and you are in huge trouble over there, you better believe it is my business,” I said.

“Yeah, well don’t think for one second I believe she actually accepted you earlier. Why would she accept you over me? It doesn’t make sense,” he said rolling his eyes.

“What doesn’t make sense is why you are still speaking when you are the one who messed up. Shut up or I’ll make you regret it,” my blood was beginning to boil. I didn’t care about whether or not she accepted me at this moment. All I cared about was making him stop talking smack about what just happened.

“You…”

“Stop. Just stop John,” Jenny said with her face still turned. “I wanted to reject you when you came up and told me you wanted to talk after school. You rushed off like a coward without giving me a chance to politely decline. Don’t get mad at George. I asked him to be there. He was there for me.”

Jenny was beginning to shake, and this time I could tell that tears were there; she brought her hand up and brushed some away.

She sighed and turned to face John. Her face was tear stained and a little red and puffy, “You are the one who messed up. You. Not me. Not George. You. Don’t blame anyone except yourself for the outcome of today,” she said steadily as possible. “Don’t you ever speak to me again. Don’t ever look at me again. You will never be forgiven by me,” she finished what she had to say and then again turned her head away.

I was stunned, but also incredibly proud of her. She just put him in his place and denied him a chance to take anything back. I looked back at the broken John. His face showed no emotion. His head dropped and his body slumped.

I looked to see how the office was doing. Great, my mom was yelling at John’s parents. Mrs. Bailey was looking embarrassed. John’s parents looked somewhat similar to John at the moment. I know my mom cares, but I just hated how she portrayed it sometimes. My mom seemed to
be finished and she threw the door open. She stopped and looked at John. She looked like she was going to let him have it.

“Mom. It’s done. It’s been settled,” I interjet before she can embaress me more.

“Alright Honey. Good job then!” she said looking a little disappointed she didn’t get to finish her thoughts.

“It wasn’t me. Jenny put him in his place,” I said, as I friendly put an arm around her shoulder, bringing her back into reality.

She jumped suddenly at my touch, “What!?!” she said looking at me frantically.

“Good job Jenny. It is always good to put those who did wrong in their place,” my mother said having the last word.

Jenny looked at me quizzically and I just shrugged a ‘just go with it’.

John’s parents exited the office. They looked apologetic at Jenny.

“We are so sorry for our son’s actions. Please accept out deepest apology,” they said; it seemed like them might bow.

My mom gave a pleased smile; like she had planned or forced that. ‘Ugg…mom…’ I thought. Then they turned to me. I saw a hint of apology but also a hint of disapproval.

“We apologize. However, we do not think violence is the answer in any circumstance,” they were saying it to me but the last part seemed to be directed at my mom. “We would like you to apologize to our son.”

I was confused. I didn’t do anything wrong. Also I wasn’t the only one shocked. Jenny and her mom gasped. My mom looked like she was going to dramatically faint.

“It seems only fair since you threw the first punch. You started the violence,” John’s mom said flatly.

I was still flabbergasted. I wasn’t about to apologize to the creep for justifibly punching him.

“Okay with that logic, I want a sincere apology first.”

I was shocked. Those words came from Jenny. She was currently behind me. She touched my arm as if signaling me to let her stand in front. I wasn’t about to stop this daring girl.

“You say George started the violence. That’s false,” She unzipped my sweat shirt and pulled down a sleeve showing the bruise in shape of a hand. “Your son started the violence; if you insist George apologizes, I want one first.” She said firmly. Her eyes looked to mine as if to apologize, ‘sorry I’m making you apologize to the butthead’.

I slightly nod. I’ll apologize only if John grovels and does as Jenny asks. We both turn to John’s mother.

When Jenny showed the bruise Mrs. Bailey looked like she was ready to kill John. My mother actually had a genuine look of shock on her face. Now as I stare at John’s mom I see the realization on her face; that her son is a lying jerk. She glares at John; wishing she could probably take back all the words she just said.

“I will agree to you conditions. John Paul Stevens apologize to her!” John’s mom was back to the look of blowing a gasket.

All eyes turned to John. I was relishing in his discomfort. For what he put Jenny through, he should also feel the same uneasiness that she felt and is still feeling.

“I…I am sorry Jenny,” John huffs out.

“SINCERELY!” John’s mom shouted.

“I am sorry Jenny. I am truly sorry for my actions,” John spoke clearly.

I didn’t trust that apology; it was so forced. Afterwards he still looked uncomfortable so I was at least pleased by that. Jenny just nodded. She pulled the sweater back on, zipped it, and backed up until she was just inches from me. I sensed she was faltering. I placed a hand on her hip just to steady her.

I wasn’t waiting for anyone to force me, “John, I am sorry I took the first punch.” There, that wasn’t too hard. John looked startled; he probably thought I was going to hold a grudge. I wish I could say, ‘I’m not you idiot’.

“Well, with your logic of all violence is wrong, your son should apologize to my son for destroying his beautiful face,” my mom said.

Good job mom!

John’s mother huff, but she wasn’t about to argue against her own logic. “John.”

Sweet. I was going to see John uncomfortably apologize to me as well. Best idea of Jenny’s ever! I was waiting patiently knowing it was going to be painful for him.

John looked like he wanted to die before apologizing to the guy who ruined his cofession, but begrudgingly he said, “I am sorry George for punching you.”

That was a fakest apology ever, but I still enjoyed watching him do it. Mom looked like she was about to insist on a better one.

“No problem John,” I said in the same tone as his apology. All this apology stuff needed to just be done. If they aren’t sincere its not worth hearing.

“Okay it seems like all is cleared up. John Stevens will be receiving detention for two months. George Matthews…I am sorry but you did start the punching; you will need to volunteer five times for a club in your free time. And miss Jennifer Bailey, I extend my deepest apologies. If you need counseling, I can help set it up for you,” the principal said apologetic to Jenny and me, but sternly to John.

There was no fighting the punishments. I would do it again if I had to. John looked like he would protest but his mom grabbed his wrist.

“Are we good to leave?” she said to the principal probably wanting to leave and punish John at home for the lies, embarrassment, and stupidity of his actions.

“Yes you are all free to go,” the principal said to us all and then reentered his office.

The Stevens left quickly. They were gone. Mrs. Bailey said she would go get the car. She said she would text Jenny when she was there. Mrs. Bailey gave me one more hug, this one was gentle and caring; then she was gone.

“Hey mom can you go get the car too. I’m feeling a little bit sluggish now,” I said and it was a total white lie.

“Of course my Honey. Stay with Jenny until her mom is here,” she said and she was gone.

I turned to Jenny. She looked exhausted. She also was at a distance now; unlike how close to me she was earlier. I wanted to ask her now about what she said, but I knew that was going to be a long talk. As much I didn’t want to, I decided to just finish this crazy, awful, but surprising day just as her good friend. “You okay Jenny?” Man, I’ve got to stop asking her that.

“I’m good. Just exhausted. And I’ve got a painful headache,” she said quietly.

She seemed nervous, because she was fidgeting from one foot to the other. ‘ I wonder…nope. don’t go there today.’

Jenny’s phone chimed which startled her. She looked down and it was her mom. “I’ve got to go George,” she said stepping away and making the thumb gesture to the door.

“No problem Jenny. I’ll see you tomorrow,” I was disappointed that we were suddenly back to the friend zone.

“See ya,” she said and began to walk away. She stopped, turned back, and came back towards me. All the way. She hugged me. It was a sweet hug; not a thank you hug, or a sorry hug, or a friend hug. This one was different.

She peeled away, “Bye George,” and she turned and walked a little quicker out the door. She was gone.

So maybe I was a smidge out of the friend zone.

Life Of Two Best Friends Chpt 4

Life Of Two Best Friends Chpt 3

Chapter 4

We were done and already in the locker room. The hot water felt so good on my aching muscles. As I was getting dressed teammates came up and thanked me for the deadly workout. Most of them added in, ‘it killed me but I do feel stronger.’ It was a nice feeling that I made the right decisions. I throw on a sweatshirt and I head out. The guys waited for me; I lock up the facility and we stand for a bit in front of the doors.

“That was a killer workout, George. It was great. But Coach is going to love it too much; it will probably become a normal set for us,” Jerry said as he shoved me jokingly.

“Yeah, it was good. But I hate you,” both Ken and Matthews said simultaneously.

I chuckled, “Thanks guys. I personally thought of you lot as I wrote it. I thought to myself, ‘how can I torture my friends the most?’ But no really guys thanks for the support.”

Ken and Matthews left heading towards the back parking lot. Jerry said a quick goodbye and he was off too. I stupidly had parked in the opposite parking lot. So I had to drag my tired butt to the front of the school. Hopefully Coach will be happy with me tomorrow, and still think I am dependable. Dependable…Jenny!

I rushed to the football field. Jenny stood backed against a fence while a guy, I didn’t recognize, pressed her against it. She seemed to be struggling to get free. I sprinted to them, pulled and shoved the guy away from her. Then preceded to step between them. The other guy was about ten feet away, so I backed up towards her, “I’m sorry Jenny. You okay?”

“George…” Jenny muffled out.

She had been crying. I lost it. The guy was walking towards us; I don’t know how but I punched him across his smug face.

He thudded to the ground. “Dude! What is your problem? This doesn’t concern you. Stay out of our business,” the guy said as he slowly pulled himself up.

“She is my business,” I was all riled up. My hand was throbbing in pain, but it didn’t see to phase me. The only thing that brought me back to earth was Jenny’s hand on my arm. I turned around to her. She was slightly better; she wasn’t shaking anymore. She had a red handprint on her shoulder; where he had held her in place…
Ready to lay another punch on his kisser, I turned and WHAM! His fist hit the target, my face. I didn’t fall but I felt the wind knocked out of me. I shoved him away; trying to give myself some time to collect myself. Jenny was beside me; she was trying to help me to stand, but I pushed her behind me. She was shaking again.

“What’s your deal? You don’t have any reason to interfere. Unless you are interested in her?” The other guy said, but added a smirk on the last word.

“And what if I am?” Did that just come out of my mouth? I guess the cat is out of the bag. Jenny’s hand on my arm became warmer; I give a side glance in her direction and watch as her cheeks turn a hue of red. Was it embarrassment or just surprise? I returned my gaze back to the other guy; learning from experience, never let your guard down.

“Sucks for you man, if they don’t answer you it’s a rejection,” he said laughingly.

I saw teachers coming at a distance. He started walking towards us again.

“Okay.”

The other guy stopped dead in his tracks. I froze. That was Jenny’s voice. Was she accepting him or acknowledging me? This time I turned my body to Jenny.

Her hand still on my arm she looked up into my eyes, “Okay.”

I froze not knowing what to do. I heard a confused, ‘what’ and snarl from the other guy but I was too startled. I just continued to look at her. She smiled back at me. I guess the smile was too much for the rejected guy because he charged us again. I knew the teachers were almost here; so, I just pulled her into a protective hug waiting for the teachers to stop him.

Everything was a blur after that. She said, ‘Okay’. Jenny. Jenny said ‘okay’! All I know is we were walking back to the main office. The other guy was being dragged there, while Jenny walked beside me. Her hand still on my arm.

Life Of Two Best Friends Chpt 3

Life of Two Best Friends Chpt 2

CHAPTER 3

Jenny.

If you you saw her you would understand why I waited. Jenny was wearing tight jeans and a red shirt. The shirt brought out the red in her hair. But my eyes drifted to her steel green eyes; eyes that seemed to smile all on their own. Jenny was with her group of girlfriends. We all were in the same next class.

Her friends were not big fans of me. They seemed to not understand Jenny and I’s friendship. I’m sure they also thought I brought her “cool factor” down. First in the group was Chelsea Walter. She was blonde and dressed with all brand names; at least I assumed, she never stopped saying it. She was the one that desperately wanted me gone. She did not filter her words or actions; she made it very obvious. Britney Halt was actually cool. Of Jenny’s three close friends she would be my
favorite. She was super chill; she would sometimes hang out with me and the guys when Jenny and the others were at cheer practices. Lastly Addison Carlton, she was the top student type; she had dark brown hair, glasses, and always had books in her arms. Addison was nonconfrontational to me, but she also was not accepting. Which is funny because I actually hang out with Matthew Wu, who is the top student of our school. Probably she thinks I ruined Matthews cred with my only above average grades. Jenny was the only one that I truly saw.

Jenny walked towards me; with her group trailing behind. “Hey George. What’s up?” Jenny said as she glanced at what I was wearing. “Is your mom stopping by today?” as she gestured to my look.

“You would be correct. She is stopping by at some point; so I’m prepared for all times possible.” I said as we began walking to our next class. Chelsea and Addison were close behind Jenny; while Britney walked beside me. She was cool.

“How’s it going Brit?” Knowing only this cool girl would actually acknowledge my presence.

“All things are good. I’m just going through the days until I can be done with sophomore year. Can’t wait!” as she spoke her expression changed from chill to ultra excitement.

We collectively reached our classroom door and the second bell chimes.

Jenny stops me, “George, can you wait a moment?”

Chelsea, Britney and Addison all leave and enter the classroom; leaving Jenny and I outside. We probably had about five minuets until the next bell.

“Sure what’s up?” I say causually, but knowing where this was going.

“Can you help me again after practice today? Another guy said he would confess after school and I don’t want to be alone with this one. The girls have to leave right after practice. I was going to tell him right off the back that it wouldn’t work out between us, but he brushed me off and left suddenly. And my mom is too busy to get me early,” She said nervously switching from one leg to the next. “I know you are probably annoyed or bothered to be the one I ask, but if I had anyone else I would give you a break.”

As much as I did hate being the barrier for her, and also having to listen to the cringe worthy confessions, I wasn’t about to leave her alone with someone she already felt uncomfortable with. “No problem Jenny. I’ve got your back. I’ll head over right after practice. Is that good?”

“That would be perfect,” relief washed over her face. “Thanks George. I can always count on dependable you.”

“No problem Jenny, but let’s head in or we will be marked tardy,” I say while opening the door and ushering her inside. Just as we sat the third bell rang.

“Good call George.” Jenny said as she gave me the warm smile that turns me into a cheesy human.

“No problem,” I smoothly get out.

Then class begins.

Another full day of meaningless classes and a buttload of homework. Don’t get me wrong I don’t mind the homework; it’s just after three hours of brutal swim practice, homework is the last thing you want to be doing. Finally, however, the best part of the day has come: Swim practice! I was heading towards the gym just as Jerry and Ken came into view. They were waiting at the door for me like always. Matthews came rushing up behind me; he did a small bunny hop and wrapped his arm around my neck and gave me a noogie. I did deserve it; I had done this exact thing to him yesterday.

“Seriously dude,” I said as I broke away from his death hold. I forgot to mention, Matthews is tall. Not like Jerry tall, but his own category of tall. He was close to being six foot.

“You know you deserve this. Just be happy I’m taller, because when you did this to me I thought my neck was going to break because of all the force from your jump,” Matthew ended with a chuckle and a punch on my shoulder.

He of course said this knowing that my height wasn’t my strong suit, “Whatever dude. Let’s go,” I said rushing up to Jerry and Ken, who were laughing their butts off.

“Mister sensitive is here. Mister sensitive says its time to practice,” Matthews said laughing as he caught up to us.

Entering the Locker rooms, our teammates were frantically changing. They saw us and gave a collective, ‘Hello,’ and added a ‘Hurry up, Coach is pissed today.’ Understood. We quickly changed and rushed out to the deck. Coach was indeed pissed; he was standing dead center of the pool deck facing the water. If he was in a somewhat pleasant mood he would be sitting in his camping chair drinking his coffee. Not sitting and no coffee meant pissed. We all lined up and Jerry and I started the stretching warm-up. Coach still just stood. Once done with the warm-up, everyone began to fix their suits or messing with their goggles; not wanting to be the one for the deadly deed. Everyone on the team feared Coach, especially when he was pissed. So it fell on the co team captains, Jerry or myself, to ask Coach what we should start with.

Jerry patted me on the shoulder and said, “Thanks buddy,” shoving me forward and skirting away.

This is the norm. Knowing I’ll be on the receiving end of that the ‘chewing out process’, I headed over to Coach. As I walked I tried to be confident and strong as I came to Coach’s side, “Coach what should I start them on?” Silence. “Coach?”

“What!?!” turning to me, ” Oh yeah. Sorry George. What did you say?” Coach said quite startled.

Did Coach just apologize? Coach had mentioned at the start of the year that sorry was not in his vocabulary. “What should I start them on?”

Coach pulled me aside, “George, could you run practice today. I’ve already called a life guard. I need to leave today. Right now.”

WHAT!?! Okay something must be wrong. Coach’s life is this pool, this team. I didn’t hesitate, “Sure. No problem. Is it my choice or do you want some input?”

“Do long distance. I want them and you tired. Write out a workout, one you know I would approve. You may stop occasionally to see if they
are not wimping out; but I want you, especially, to finish the set,” he said with a stern grim face. “Here are the keys. Lock up and just give me the keys tomorrow morning. I’ll give you a pass,” Coach said stepping away. However he stopped suddenly, “Thanks George. It’s a great feeling as a coach to know I can depend on my captain. If the teammates ask just say I said, ‘none of your business,’ they will know I said it. Again Thanks George,” after that he walked past his swimmers and out the door.

I didn’t hesitate, I went towards the whiteboard. I began writing down a set that I knew the team was going to hate my guts. Slowly everyone gathered around me as I finished writing. It was about a three thousand yard set; yeah, they were going to hate me. I turned around to them, meeting gaping mouths. “Well as you can see I’m in charge today. This is today’s set. I will be keeping tabs on people. If people are slacking I will mention it to Coach. Any questions?”

“What’s up with Coach?” Jerry asked but a majority of the team echoed him as well.

“His words, ‘none of your business,'” I said as I waited for arguments, There were none. Coach was right. “Okay well split into your normal lanes. We will begin with the warm up. For the main set follow this rule: lanes in groups of two, intervals will increase by fifteen seconds. Your lane can decide your difficulty but you will
stay and finish. I will have the lifeguard casually watching, and if he sees people stopping he will let me know, and I will relay the info to Coach. I will be staying until everyone is done. Everyone is expected to give it their all. Okay enough with the chit-chat. Let’s get going.” I jumped into the pool and it began.

Man, I was right this workout was going to kill us. Believe me, I was dreading showing Coach my workout, because knowing him, we would probably be doing this again in the future. Occasionally I would stop, and the team would be doing the workout! They looked like they were dying, but they were still moving. I would look to the life guard and he would shake his head and then give me thumbs up. Sweet. Everyone was giving it their all. I continued.

Stopping for the short break, I look at my teammates, and they were still swimming. I looked at the clock and we only had thirty minuets left of practice time, but we probably had about forty minuets of the set left. I was going to finish! However let’s be honest, they would probably opt to stop. As everyone came into the wall they all plopped out of the pool breathing deeply and choking on water.

I only had two minutes to ask them, “Okay everyone we are almost done, but we are running out of time. I’ll give the option. Do you want to finish or do you want to stop on time? I can’t make you stay late, but I will be finishing the set.” Most of them looked up at me like I was an insane person.

“Let’s continue!” a swimmer down in the lower lanes said. “We’ve come this far. And whatever is happening with coach we should do something for him. We should finish.” He said choppy because he was still catching his breath. “If Coach was the one here, he wouldn’t give us the option. Let’s do this!” he ended as he threw his fist into the air.

I looked around and even though they were exhausted, everyone nodded in agreement. The mark to leave was coming up, “okay then let’s do this.” I jumped back into the pool to finish this impossible, a Coach worthy set.